Dark Night of the Soul

How to Survive a Dark Night of the Soul

Following my epic article on the Dark Night of the Soul, I wanted to go into a little more detail on the symptoms of the Dark Night and strategies for surviving it. I was going to include this information at the end of the previous article but it was already too long.

To summarise: the Dark Night of the Soul is a transformative process that can occur after awakening. It is designed to purge you of all ego attachments so you can develop a direct relationship with the divine. You must be ready for this process, and there is often a period of ‘ripening’ as you build the strength and maturity necessary to move through the darkness and dissolution of the self.

Read the full article: Love’s Ordeal: The Dark Night of the Soul

Symptoms of the Dark Night of the Soul

Hold your LightEverybody will experience the Dark Night in a different way, but there are archetypal patterns which seem to arise in everyone. The process of awakening is basically the same in all people, but how the ego breaks down will vary. Our cultural conditioning is similar because we grow up listening to same illusory narratives, but we each have our own particular quirks and hang-ups.

Where I get stuck will not be the same as where you get stuck.

With that in mind, here are some of the symptoms that may be experienced during a Dark Night of the Soul. You may not encounter them all, or indeed any of them.

So in no particular order:

  • Regret over having started a spiritual practice but you know you can’t stop
  • Your spiritual practice no longer works like it used to
  • Inability to meditate or pray
  • Despair over your lack of spiritual progress
  • Find yourself cursing God
  • Feelings of Purgatory
  • Depression due to increased awareness of impermanence
  • Find things passing away: relationships, jobs, possessions
  • Loss of dreams, hopes and desires
  • Loss of purpose and sense of meaning
  • Inability to let go of the past or what you have lost
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Normal life now seems boring and pointless compared to your vision of Oneness and you see how much of your life is false
  • Feel cut off from others and alienated from ‘normal’ life making it hard to join in
  • Values change making it hard to relate to others at times
  • Priorities are challenged and new goals may need to be found
  • Profound aloneness and the awareness that no-one else is experiencing this
  • Need for silence and find it hard to talk
  • Want to be alone
  • Feel like you’re falling into madness
  • Fear of what is coming into your awareness as you confront the shadow
  • Can’t stop crying or find it hard to cry even if you want to
  • Exhaustion / unable to sleep / can’t stop sleeping
  • Feel helpless and unable to assert your will
  • Difficulty eating or wanting to undertake a fast
  • Physical pain with no obvious cause / hypersensitivity
  • Feel like you’re dying / strong death wish
  • Despair
  • Intense fear
  • Confusion

I’ve probably missed a few. If you’d like to add to this list, please use the comment section to share your experience.

How to survive a Dark Night

The first thing to remember when you find yourself in the Dark Night, is that the spiritual path isn’t really about feeling good. For all the talk of bliss, this process is more about wholeness and the ability to be present with whatever is happening in your life, good or bad.

The fact that you feel confused, frightened and borderline crazy is not a sign that something has gone wrong. Arrival in the Dark Night means your deeper Self wants this to happen. You are ready to let go and open to the ultimate Reality, even if it doesn’t make you feel good. This is a sign of strength, spiritual maturity and courage. The Dark Night may feel like the worse kind of hell, but it really is a blessing.

Go towards the sun
Go towards the sun

The hardest thing to let go of is the idea of spiritual attainment, specifically enlightenment itself. This is, apparently, the goal of the spiritual journey but here we encounter our old foe: the wily ego. At this stage of the process, if you want it, you won’t get it.

The desire to enjoy ecstatic union with God is one of the things which most effectively separate us from God.” – Abu Hasan Al Shadhili

While the statements “seek and you will find” and “knock and the door will be opened” are true, they’re only true up to a point. The ego’s games and desires must be exhausted before any kind of ‘finding’ or ‘door opening’ will happen. In reality, what you must do is knock and knock and knock, seek and seek and seek, and when none of it works and you feel as confused and lost as you did at the start, you finally give up.

As Andrew Harvey says, you are only given the world when you no longer want it.

But this doesn’t mean you can short-circuit the process by giving up now thinking that will bring you want you want. For this is not a genuine surrender, there is still the shadow of a desire lurking in the background.

This from Nagarjuna: “Believers in emptiness are incurable.

Reveal your Light
Reveal your Light

Ten Dark Night Strategies

Keep Practising: whatever you do, don’t give up your spiritual practice, even if it seems pointless or scary. If you stop now, you can get stuck in an endless Dark Night and your life will become unliveable.

Have Faith: remember that you are not in control of this process. Trust in the process, in your True Self, God, or however you want to characterise it. Allow yourself to be guided.

Stay Open: remain open to whatever comes up, good or bad. Say yes to it all. Don’t resist.

Maintain Perspective: don’t go too far with extreme practices in order to free yourself faster. It isn’t a race. Maintaining a sense of humour is vital to surviving the worst of the Dark Night.

Don’t Pathologise: try not to interpret the Dark Night as a sign something is wrong. Just remembering it is a normal part of the process can help you to overcome many of the problems. And stay away from psychiatrists – most of them know nothing about non-duality and won’t be able to help.

Embrace the Darkness: it may seem crazy to say yes to darkness and loss, but it’s a symptom of your old ego illusions. Learn to see in the dark. Dispel the darkness by bringing more consciousness to it. If you fight it or push it away, it will only become stronger.

Beware Expectations: if you expect the Dark Night to be hard or scary, then it will be. Be careful of the stories you tell yourself about what is going on. They are all ego narratives and therefore illusory.

Exercise: keep yourself grounded by exercising regularly. Go for walks, do yoga, weight training – anything that keeps you moving and focused on the body so you don’t get lost in your head.

Practise Self-Inquiry: break down the components of the experience by deconstructing what you’re feeling and thinking during your meditation practice. Remember to ask the right questions: Who is thinking? Who is scared? Who is dying? Who is going stark staring bonkers?!

Find a Teacher: find someone who can guide you through the process, but be sure they have been through it themselves. If you can’t find someone, then read spiritual literature, particularly Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Nagarjuna.

The most important thing to remember is this: you are losing your illusions – nothing more. Just let them go.

Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brene Brown

More posts on the Dark Night

My novel Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic was inspired by my experience of awakening and the dark night of the soul. Find out more here

Visit the Dark Night Resources page for tons of links

Article inspired by this post: Dark Night of the Soul: Healing Our Sacred Wounds by Anaiya Sophia

Image: Go towards the sun

58 thoughts on “How to Survive a Dark Night of the Soul

  1. I am 58 years old…Too old to complete my mission(?)
    I’ve been married (2nd marriage) since 1985.
    We each had sons from our previous marriages.
    All seemed well until 2010…the year all hell broke lose.
    My oldest son committed suicide at the age of 32.
    Two months later, I lost my job of 14-years.
    In 2015 my step son died.
    In-between we have had many, many losses.
    I have not been able to hold a job for more than a few months.
    I feel dead.
    I purchased a 9mm handgun last year as “My ticket home” should it be needed.
    My wife and I are strangers.
    This physical life has no meaning and I am so tired.
    She stays busy…I am slowly decomposing.
    The only thing that keeps me in this incarnation is
    hope…hope that I will “remember” why I incarnated in the first place,
    but I get no answers that I can discern/feel.
    Nowhere to turn and no guidance.
    I am a nobody and a nomad, and I feel numb.
    I started drinking to alter my reality…hoping for divine guidance and happiness.
    I drink enough to intoxicate an elephant, and yet I remain sober and somber.
    I spend most of my time quietly alone….seeing the images and thoughts go through me.
    I have divested almost all from the entire life I had created.
    I surrender daily.
    Nothing makes sense.
    This “dark night of the Soul” has stripped me clean…my ego has gone silent.
    Should I stay or should I go? Why on Earth am I still on Earth?
    Hope is faith holding its hand out in the darkness…how much longer can I do this?
    So tired…defeated.


    1. Hi Randy – sorry to hear of your troubles. It sounds like you’ve had a rough time and can’t take much more, but it’s definitely not too late for things to change. You’re never too old. Tired, yes – absolutely. It’s very hard to keep going when you can’t find the energy. I know it’s easy for me to say this, but the booze isn’t going to help with that. If you want to move away from the darkness, you’ll need to give up looking for a way out through the bottle – you won’t find what you need in there, and I think you already know that.

      Keep asking questions and keep asking for guidance. Sometimes the answers come when we least expect them and not in ways that are easy to understand. It can be subtle so you need to pay attention. Listen deeply and rest. Perhaps you’ll find something to help you here.

      Hope you find some answers soon. Keep breathing. Every beat of your heart is saying yes to this life. Listen…


  2. After 1 1/2 yrs i think now I’m out of the dark night after getting loads of dukkha insights. I found out i had experienced the classic insights well after I had all the experiences. ‘Thou didst hold life with all eight tentacles, like an octopus.’ Well that all went. But what happens after the dark night? I got out via fast chanted mantras, and initially bliss waves would then pass into my mind- lightning fast. Later the bliss would thicken out and then become the very background of my mind-with an energetic feeling of improved consciousness. It’s a lovely feeling to have this in your head, and you do feel a lot better. So the dark night dukkhas are worth it I think.


  3. Great article, I am struggling with my Dark Night of the soul. It started 5 years ago and slowly have become worse worse until lately. I am still having the worse time in my life with the tiredness, the lack of happines and specially the anger that have start growing inside of me for 2 years already because I feel completely powerless and that frustrate me. I dont like the person I have become, I dont like the reality I am living, not only my personal one but who this world works, I have being trying to keep being responsible for my life and my role in the world trying always, but everytime with more and more difficultly to do the right thing. But I am tired, I am overwhelmed is like God was asking me over and over to thing about others first instead of me and what I want, and when I ask him to give the strength to do it he just left and end the conversation without an answer. I hate to be this way, I dont feel anybody cares about me and what is happening to me. I want time off I want to disconnect of everything and everybody and it has become more and more difficult for me to cares about others to find love and understanding for them like I use to. I find myself more and more often jugging others being mad at them and making them feel bad and guilty about themselves when I use to do exactly the opposite, I find myself more and more often playing the victim trying to find the villain that makes my life this hell that I am going trough. Sometimes is God, sometimes is the people around me and very often is myself, it doesnt matter, the result is the same, anger, horrible anger that consume inside. Thank you for the advice to keep the spiritual practice, I think I finally abandoned it like a year ago, things as you say just get worse I am trying to restarted again like a month ago is going slow and I am having problems finding the time and the interest to do it, but I think is doing good things for me. I will like to know if somwbody has passed already, if I am really going to feel that all this pain and confusion was worth it or at least if I am going to be able to feel love and joy again and not only anger as I feel right now. Thank you


    1. Hello July – I’m sorry to hear of your struggles with this. It can be a very hard process but it does get better over time if you work with it rather than fighting against it. The anger and frustration are normal responses and they’re a sign that something inside you needs to be healed. Feeling powerless and helpless is a horrible experience, so learning to be kind to yourself can really help. Rather than beating yourself up, try to see yourself with compassion and give yourself a break. You are so much more than what you can see and feel right now, so don’t despair. It will get better…


    2. Blessings July… As an energy healer and reading your comment, I would consider seeing a well-qualified, spiritual practitioner/energy healer. An energy healer can help release the dense, stagnant energies that contribute to our feelings of despair and hopelessness. These dense energies and negative belief systems can contribute greatly to our feelings of anger and pain which they feed off. We all have these dense energies and belief systems that keep us feeling trapped. Bringing in the Light will help to clear, transform and release these dense energies… Brightest Blessings ~ Antonia Blue Star


    3. July- i’m out of the dark night now, I think. So stay positive, watch lots of comedies and continue your practice. My Dukkha Nanas came partly with a recording of the Bornless ritual and ended after intense mantra meditation. Intense-because I wanted out, or else to block out. Even the thought of a heavenly afterlife felt horrible. Now I have bliss in my mind as well as a weird vibration-like being on a water bed. ? This makes it all worth while. The insights remain, yet are compensated by the higher mental feeling which comes on very gradually.


  4. After reading this I believe I am deep into the dark knight of my soul and for over a year Ive been hanging on and resisting strong impulses to commit suicide. (No advice or recommendations needed. I am aware of suicide prevention hotlines.) The symptoms you describe are dead on for me. It was comforting to find this article and exercise is the tool you gave that my inner being nudged me on. EVERY single day is a struggle to get through. I feel like a robot just going through motions in the world as expected of me but it’s all meaningless to me. I don’t care about “things”. Everything that used to matter, no longer matters. Nothing including people. I don’t care about success, money, relationships, working, fun, food, Nature, tv, music, and I mean nothing. All of it seems meaningless now. I started listening to Abraham Hicks and at first it was freeing! Death no longer mattered. Getting things wrong no longer mattered. Figuring out my purpose no longer mattered. Then very quickly things got darker than they already were because in all this nothing matters, I haven’t been able to care about ANYTHING and things got worse at that point for me because I I used to be highly empathetic but I currently feel like I have the empathy of a psychopath. Nearly non-existent. I have split energy about so much. I’m so tired. I was abused by psychopaths my whole life and had just realized this before finding Abraham. (My first completely altered change of perspective. A dark one as I realized how many people in my life I had attracted.) Learning that karma is not real therefore my perpetrators will never be held accountable because as a small child I created this and then I perpetuatedit with my victim vibration. I have struggled with this because I thought it was my purpose to help these people to make the world a better place to find out that my attention to the problem perpetuates it, this makes me feel more powerless. And purposeless. I can’t believe that I’m here just to be happy. If that was the plan from the get go than things went awry in my book. I know that’s supposedly not true but this life has been pure hell of my own making but I’m supposed to trust that I can deliberately break 43 years of victimhood by just “being happy”. I can’t seem to get out of this powerlessness feeling even though I know logically that I am an eternal powerful creator. I don’t feel it though and I’m actually quite pissed at myself for my creations and find them pointless suffering. All I have created is horrifying. And I’m scared to death I will keep creating this shit over and over as I have been. Currently I am very isolated. Some of this happened through life and I created the rest. I have felt like I’m supposed to be still but I can’t even get myself to successfully meditate. I don’t even understand why I found my spiritual side now. It actually pisses me off. Like wtf would I find it now when I’m so fucked yo in the head at this point. It feels too late for me. And this has actually plummeted what little belief and love I had in myself. I feel completely incompetent to “save” myself or to do simple things like meditate or be consistent With anything which has always been the hugest struggle for me. Thanks for listening. I just needed to get this off my chest. I just pray that something happens with my ability to change my thinking/feelings before I do something to relieve this unbearable suffering. Knowledge is not lacking. I just can’t seem to get off this loop. The feelings are so strong they take over my logic. I wake up with an unbearable heaviness. I even went to see Abraham out of desperation but it didn’t go well. I did not get my questions answered or I at least was unable to receive them but I was certain I was supposed to go. I even dreamed of Abraham for 3 Days in a row before I went. I left the workshop in uncontrollable tears. Another thing that bothers me is knowing that “God” or Source isn’t there when we suffer and could give two shits because they know it doesn’t matter. Well it matters to me as I am suffering in my human experience and I now feel like god is a happy psychopath. Would love anyone that can change my mind about this but so far I have not found anything to make me feel otherwise. I curse god often. Sorry for the whining and thank you for posting this article.


    1. Hi Melissa – it sounds like you’re struggling with a lot of pain and confusion. But I don’t know where you’ve got the idea that nothing matters. That isn’t true.

      Everything matters. You matter. No genuine spiritual guidance would make you feel powerless or worthless or like you don’t matter.

      If this is what ‘Abraham’ teaches, then you need to find another teacher. This New Age crap is dangerous. I’m serious, Melissa – you can do better. You deserve better.

      You matter. Your experience matters. ‘God’ does care – more than you can imagine. ‘God’ is right here, living through this nightmare with you. But don’t take my word for it. Ask – Pray.

      You don’t need ‘Abraham’. You have your own direct line to the truth – right in your own heart. Use it!


    2. Intolerable is thine ache, and incurable thy wound. Here abideth terror and the blind ache of the soul. But the equivalent of the dark night are the Dukkha Nanas. I’ve been through those cycles well before I researched what they were, and can tell you the way out ended for me in a blissful feeling of higher consciousness and ‘Dukkha equanimity.’ Listen to your body and mind and you’ll see what works for you. I’m convinced a possible way out is via repetition of a conscious no mind state- but then there may be different ways out for others, and I conversed verbally with my higher self in meditation. It told me things. I would love you to be where I am, and my road is still chanting mantras very fast. You may be on the road to enlightenment, but get out of the abyss and into bliss-which is out there waiting. Become positive- everything I’ve said here is a hundred percent true-aim for my attainment – stream entry and Magister Templi.


    3. Hi Melissa,

      Notice that you have “fuck you determination”. The world is only full of people who didn’t kill themselves today. But, balance it out with rest for yourself.

      Forgive God. You don’t need to do anything for this other than noticing when the thoughts are cursing him/her and come back to the present moment into awareness. Notice thinking. Notice the judgements and the violence. Don’t need to be kind or compassionate to be kind or compassionate. Just start with noticing the judgements, curses, resentments and angry thoughts and step back from them by coming back to awareness. Kindness and compassion and love is the space between.

      Read the Sermon on the Mount and put it into practice bit by bit.

      Shame, anger, sadness, fear are all just as empty as happiness, pleasure, peace. It’s all chemical processes in the brain. And yet if you look inside a synapse, neuron, cell or atom you will continue to not see any emotions or nonemotions there.

      Reality is a mirror. If you are trying to only alter the reflection you will go round and round in circles.

      Instead, go back to the source. Do and say good things in small and quiet ways. Don’t show or tell people that you are doing them if you can avoid it. Start small and when you try to help and it hurts them remember that you intended to do something good for them, even if your mind starts telling you that you had bad intentions all along.

      Notice that causation is reductive. You are the only person who is really responsible for you but the circumstances that have led up to each moment are infinitely complex.You’d have to be able to explain everything that ever did or did not happen with perfect precision throughout all space and time. You are powerless and yet you you have a choice.

      Awareness of your body and emotions. If it’s all grey and and nothingness look for the tiniest ember of sensation or emotion in your hand or leg or torso or lips or breath. This is home. Guard it, forgive it, tend to it, feel it. It’s worth fighting for.

      You can’t control what the reflection has become. You can come back to the source and start again.

      Go straight.

      Watch the Lion King. Remember who you are.

      There is a place between eternalism and nihilism.

      Do the best you can do (which includes failure, rest and balance). Go straight and be to the world what you would want it (and God) to be to you.

      You’re in the best place for altruism.

      “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

      Kind regards,



      1. p.s. To be honest this is an amalgamation of insights I’ve had and what I’ve read and watched from enlightened people. I’ve had some heavy experiences and butted up against the self not being real. There have been a few times in the past 6 months where I have butted up against what felt like an abyss but then I found a way to back off from it, usually by drinking lots of coffee, smoking a lot and eating lots of chocolate. I’m not sure if I got the insights without going through the crisis period or if it’s just building in the background. To be honest, I’ve got to this point where life seems pointless without finding out the truth and despite how awful all this sounds if facing hell is what it takes I still want to know. I believe I’ve had a couple or so Dark Knight of the Soul experiences but not like what has been described here. I told a few people about them who I could trust but I think they thought I was a bit crazy so I just kept them to myself afterwards. I feel pretentious writing it and second guess myself for codependency but I really do feel compassion for you all and I wish you all the best.


      2. Hi James – thanks for your thoughts on this.

        It’s difficult to give advice to somebody going through a dark night of the soul because it’s such a mysterious process and everybody goes through it in their own way. You never know what will be useful to them, or not. Something might work for you, but be meaningless to them.

        In the end, everybody has to find their own path and discover their own inspiration from within. Words of advice from others can trigger that process, or it can make things worse – and you never know which way it will go. But withholding advice is no help either. All you can do is continue to live and learn, pass on what you can and hope that others take what they need from it and leave the rest.

        I’m no expert on these matters and I can only speak from my limited experience, although I’ve had multiple dark nights of various types. Something that helps one day can become useless the next. The whole of life is one massive improvisation and nobody really knows what’s going on. So my best advice is to remain open to learning and to remember how little you really know…


  5. Great article. I have a better understanding and it helps to be able to identify this state of being.

    For me, one of the most distressing, disconcerting symptoms is to have gone from the feeling of an elevated state of the “great mind” to the depths of despair of existing in a “small mind”; to have an experience of an open heart chakra to the almost closing down of the heart. I feel the closing of the heart, in our small mind, also correlates to my state of Dark Night. I am feeling that bringing in the Light into the 4 chambers of our heart, into negative belief systems and belief “loops” will help to alleviate and perhaps help clear this faster. It feels as though a burning of karma.

    Somedays I cannot bear to reconnect to the Light and just want to cocoon. Other times, I want to go on sabbatical and practice mantra and self-healing energy work for hours on end to clear out the dense energies before I am too far down the rabbit hole.

    Somedays, I want to be in a fetal position, walk off the planet or comfort eat… Having gone from such an elevated mystical state to this state of “ignorance” creates the greater part of despair. For me, it is probably what will help create the attribute of “devotion to the Great Work.”

    I am reminded of the stories of Job in the Bible and the visitation of all the pestilence. His friends and family admonish him to give up his faith in God, despair after despair. Ultimately Job overcame. The story of Jesus on the Cross, where He states … “take this cup of poison away from me”, I feel the cup of poison our small mind of recriminations, resentments, karma, our sorrows, pain and grief.

    For me, Forgiveness and bringing in the Light is key. Forgiveness of myself, forgiveness of others in this time frame and others. Bringing in the Light into my resentments, my relationships, my Ego. Bringing in the Light into my heart, into my Karma. Energizing my Higher Self and my Guardian Angel with the Light.

    Brightest Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience and insight, Antonia. There’s definitely a lot of burning through karma going on in a dark night, and forgiveness seems to play a huge part in healing too. Forgiveness and acceptance.
      Best wishes 🙂


  6. Hi Jessica, I feel so grateful for your article. I have been in the DNOS for over 6 months now and I do have a Spiritual Director, A Jungian who is amazing but it is very challenging and lonely! I have been on a spiritual path for 25 years and honestly have never experienced something this challenging. It is also a time to heal all of the shadow aspects of Self. I have a 13 year old and I am a newly single mother so it is much more challenging as i really have not a lot of motivation to “do”things. i was a therapist in my former life and a teacher of the Chakra System! I loved it and it was my Soul work. Trying to get back to it. I was in a group for people experiencing the Dark Night and made a few friends and it was VERY helpful to meet others oddly who had gone through this. The group leader in my view was very controlling and did NOT allow for feelings. I wonder if you know of any Facebook group for Dark Night Support. We used to live in communities and could help each other and though a solitary experience it is good to know we are NOT alone. Thanks, Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sarah – I’m glad you found this helpful. There are probably lots of groups on Facebook, but the only one I’m aware of that deals with the Dark Night of the Soul is ‘Shades of Awakening’. You can find out more on their website here: Shades of Awakening – there’s a link to the group. I’m a member and it seems very supportive – although, it is on Facebook which might not be the best place in the world to be sharing sensitive information. Check it out and see what you think.


  7. Jessica,
    Thank you so much for the beautiful article! It’s very helpful. I’ve been through my Dark Night of the Soul for more than two years, and looking back, I can see how far I’ve come. My ego is trying to make me believe things that are ‘just stories’ (as you said), but I’m mindful at this moment and understand that those are just stories. I’ve been feeling troubles with staying grounded because I’m 8 months pregnant and can’t exercise (before exercising helped me a lot), but breathing and meditations help me a lot still. Even my 6 and a half y.o. son loves meditations. He always asks me if he can do it with me, and it actually makes him sleep better! Another thing that is very helpful is understanding that we have to have compassion for others. For example, when my ego is telling me “oh, that person looked at you wrong and it means no one likes you again, just like when you were a child” (or something like that), I talk back, and I say “Oh, no, that person had a bad day, or maybe something happened at home or with the family. I hope it will be ok. By acting like that that person doesn’t want to offend me, it just needs to release the energy, but not everyone knows the right way doing it. So let’s be understanding and send this person love instead of fighting back”. That helps a lot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Larisa, and thanks for sharing your experience. That’s great advice for dealing with negativity from the ego and a reminder that we’re all connected. Compassion isn’t always easy, especially when the ego is causing problems, but your advice will certainly help 🙂


  8. It seems like you have a healthy perspective on the process of transformation. My own path didn’t end with the Asian religions. But I did spend several years there. I don’t mean to sound condescending. It’s just the way it worked for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I donno if to be happy or sad. I donno if it’s happening with me for what reason. But I’m going down and down and down. I think I’m regressing. I’m confused. I’m in traumatic mind. I can’t even explain. It’s like being helpless and crying, getting myself failed. I want to be a doctor but due to all this I can’t concentrate. I’m failed once giving the entrance exam. I’m trying again for it. I just want to do it. But this uncontrollable energy is ripping my head, my brain, my heart apart. I feel helpless. It’s like knowing all my enormous potential and doing nothing. My brain gets hang. I always loved spirituality and tried for kundalini awakening last year. This was for I thought it would increase my energy and concentration. When it didn’t (meditation) give result, I left it and concentrated on only studies. But when I failed, I lost my faith on me and from God. While the starting of next trial, I changed myself as the previous me wasn’t giving me benefits. From the last 3 years, I kept on experimenting on my self. I kept on filtering from good to bad then again good … Again bad. I thought I was evolving. But I donno what was I doing with my self. I think my feeling to be better day by day is killing me. I think I can’t live in satisfaction. I , from my childhood, am very highly ambitious. But I was lazy like everyone else. But my unending will to change myself is decreasing my abilities. Now last August 2016 , I was sleeping in my hostel. My roommate was home. N in midnight, I felt this intense energy blast out of my body . I thought it was dream. And told, cried on me to get up from such nightmare. I thought I would get in pieces. I saw the blast in the shape of eagle which centered on my bed. I got faint. I thought it was ghost. Help me!!!! Please I , can’t be a failure. I alwayz wanted to be a good person. Always wanted to sacrifice my life for the sake of India and world. I wanted to explore my spirituality. But now I just feel guilty of not going towards my dreams, my goals. That night I felt that I was going to burst. The next morning I got faint while doing Yoga. I was afraid . I thought I’m gonna be a psycho. I forgot to tell you that from my last 2 years, I wanted to be A Psychiatrist. But now I feel like. Crazy. I can’t see my ambitions clear. I can’t study, can’t concentrate. From my childhood, I used to think I am the source of energy to this world. I’m the one due to which this world works. I always felt an intense faith on my spirit. I feel so extraordinary that I can’t control the powers. Plzz help me or I’ll ruin myself, I’ll burn myself with my energy. Plzz don’t let me die of my energy. My whole body and eyes Burns. My body aches for no reason. Please show me path. I can’t concentrate. I feel like top the exams, I was an intelligent student. But from my last failure. All these things happening with me. This is not depression. I just … Help me.
      Anyone.. plzz.. it’s where u can help.


      1. Hello Sami – I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. It sounds like you’re caught in a kind of vortex of fear with your mind spinning round and round itself while you look for answers to your problems.

        It’s almost impossible to do anything when you become trapped like that, so the first thing you need to do – and this is hard because of how you’re feeling, but you have to try – the first thing is to calm yourself down. Take some deep breaths, get your awareness back into your body so you can stop spinning around inside your head. You might need to ground yourself – perhaps go for a walk or do something physical, like sports, gardening, etc. Being in nature might help you to feel better, or if you can, visit the sea or a river. Get some fresh air and move around. Really feel your breath moving through your body and imagine it pulling all the crap out of your system and making you clear again.

        You need to stop believing the stories you’re telling yourself – because that’s all they are – stories.

        The future isn’t certain. You don’t know what will happen, so you need to trust that life knows what it’s doing. This is difficult to do when you feel scared, especially when the plans you have made seem to be unravelling. I’ve been going through something similar recently so I understand how hard that can be. I realised that what I needed more than anything else was to have faith.

        The whole world is pretty crazy right now so the best way for you to help others is to overcome your own fears so you don’t react to the craziness by becoming even more crazy! The world needs us all to remember who we really are and to return to the still centre of truth in our hearts. You can find that centre when you stop listening to the voice of fear. Your breath will take you there if you trust it.

        I hope you start to feel better soon. Please don’t despair – you never know what the universe has hidden up its sleeves.

        If you want to talk to others going through similar things, you might like to join the Shades of Awakening facebook group. You can find out more here: http://shadesofawakening.com/


        1. I tried my level best to keep myself calm. It’s what I’m doing each n every second from last 4 to 5 months. Yes, my studies, concentration has been increased. But you know.. I know my real potential is faaaaar more than this. I take deep breaths. I try to concentrate on my inner voice. But trash. More over , when I try to listen to my inner voice , I long for breath. I think I would suffocate. Is there any way to come outside it. People say (always) that I’m highly energetic. But then in middle my brain stools, becomes dizzy. Then how can I be so energetic.? I’m an attractive person. I mean not girly beautiful. But strong, good personality. From my childhood, people are attracted towards me. I mean not in that sense. But people with every age.. it just increase the hopes of me that are already high.


        2. I’m sorry, Sami, but I’m having trouble understanding you. I’m not sure how I can help. You need to find somebody you can talk to near where you live. Also, I’m not sure why you feel you’ll suffocate when listening for your inner voice – it sounds like you’re holding your breath and there’s no need. Just breathe. You don’t have to strain for it or try hard.


  9. I think you hit the nail on the head on so many points on this one. It is perhaps the hardest single part of the awakening experience….because it digs us into ourselves and we wind up wrestling shadows (our own!). But when I read about the challenges that faced some of your readers here, Jessica, I see my own life mirrored in some ways. I lost my life. I held on for dear life, too. For a time. Until it began to fall away. I resisted because I felt that it would mean losing a precious part of my life, which was tied into my identity as husband, father, and business owner. Rather than a flattening of my whole world as I had feared, it turned out that it was merely a way to winnow out the things that did not align with my authentic self. For a while, though, I was living on the edge of everything it seemed and could.not.get.an.even.break. Everything that could go wrong seemed like it did, or could.

    I realized that it wasn’t that the universe was against me or that all of this had to fall like some house of cards, no, I had BUILT this thing I called my life, and some of it was honorable in regards to my essential self, and some of it was chaff. For a time when I “collapsed” I lost all drive to do much of anything. Terrible. But as men, we tend to define ourselves in ways that are less than productive. We all do this. Societal norms, familial pressures, doing things for people in order to gain their favor or to be who they think you should be or yearn for you to be. As men, we should never shrink from our most authentic. Anything less is inviting trouble. And awakening? Well, that just intensifies the contrast and brings on the forces to bring down what needs to be harmonized with our higher selves which seem now to be muscling its way in. To save us. To redeem. So while it is easy to feel like its all gone to sh*t, my experience was that it was me who needed to change. And yes, it took the wind out of my sails for a while. I had to figure out what the new more aligned priorities were. For me. It remains a continual process, layer-like….but it has gotten much better. And I lost a lot. But I have also gained something I didn’t have to the degree that I had before, and this has been a life saver. What was in the wings has begun to enter into my life. It hasn’t been easy. Old habits die hard. I have stumbled, fallen, but gotten back up and continued on, trying hard to learn from my past mistakes in a way that I might have just shrugged off as just the world giving me hard knocks.

    But surrendering the need to rationalize, to always know the answers was one of the keys for me in success. The more I let go of all that I thought I knew, the more this authentic self streamed in. It was not by way of a rational process. It was not a “doing” but an allowing. One is very Yang, the other was more Yin. There is a part of me that does so much better when I open up to the immensity that is what we are inside….that interfaces with the universe. Less a left brained process that is object-oriented and physically based, I have shifted more to the right brain which has the big picture capabilities…..and more intuition (and along with it, the more fluid receptive channels within consciousness). When we call kundalini “Shakti” I think what we are talking about is the force in our bodies and consciousness that resides as the yin channel in Chinese medicine and as the Goddess of the Hindu. It travels as a force of energy and consciousness on the left side of our bodies and then does a flip as it enters into our brain, the right brain. This is the part of us that can imagine anything, birth anything….just like Shakti, like Yin. And it is the part of us as Westerners that we are woefully absent of. Being an artist, I thought I was naturally right brained, but awakening itself helped to show me that when we say we only use 10% of our brains, I learned that the remainder of our capacities remains in large part with our right brains and what it mirrors in the cosmic, which is the more receptive intuitive parts of ourselves. There is a lot developing right now that helps support this, and I think that out of this we will be developing the means to make the most use of what is our own birthright cognitively, physically, and in consciousness.

    Sorry for the yammer…this can be so challenging for all of us….but I think that there are ways to navigate it that can help us through….which your writing has naturally done, and for that I say hurray!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Parker, thanks for sharing your experiences – no need to apologise for the yammer! – it all helps. Awakening is quite a process – easy and hard at the same time. It’s natural and yet feels totally alien while you’re struggling through it. I recognise a lot from your experiences – lots of letting go and losing things I no longer need. Of course, I don’t always agree that I no longer need them and that’s where the problems begin. So the biggest challenge for me has been learning faith and trust, and hearing from fellow travellers like you really helps. So thank you, and I’m glad you found my ramblings useful! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Jessica 🙂

    Great tips you shared. I definitely have experienced the dark night and it wasn’t until I met my teacher (who is in Ramana’s lineage) that I was willing to make peace with this.

    Letting go of the stories was really key for me and feeling all the feelings that came up.

    Allowing whatever can crumble to crumble was key in discovering what is eternal. Always Here.

    Letting go of the idea that this was wrong and simply allowing this to unfold. This is challenging, but it’s like a spiritual detox is happening.

    Life loves us enough to help us (sometimes rather ruthlessly lol) make peace with all aspects of ourselves. Through the pain, one can come back Home to themselves.

    I have a chapter in my new book on this ‘spiritual detox.’

    If anyone wants more information on this contact me at tathina.com. I have videos and resources on my twitter for anyone ready to make peace with this experience.

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s great to realize you didn’t do anything wrong when the spiritual journey is not all rainbows and sunshine. We are vast enough to experience everything…everything we have been running away from…to truly heal these deep wounds.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Tathina

      Thanks for the link to your website – it looks great and your book sounds very interesting. I’m sure it will help a lot of people – there seems to be many more people waking up now and it can be a bumpy ride! Thanks for sharing your work – I’ll be exploring your site for sure 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Had a nightmare few years,thinking i am going crazy,2 and abit years ago was very happy with life,engaged to be married,successful business and home.then the slide started to happen,me and my partner split up,then my business started to collapse,but all my fight and energy to save both.unfortunately end of 2014,my business went bust.now i am saddled with debt and am close to loosing my home.i am a shadow of my former self.life can be so cruel.ive read quite a few of these sites some say fight others say let go,what will be will be.
    Am i supposed to hope something good will turn up and stop me from loosing my home or just given in and lose the lot ???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Andrew. So sorry to hear about your troubles. Life can be very cruel and sometimes you just have to suck it up. Working out whether to fight or whether to let go of a situation is very difficult and there are no easy answers.

      It’s possible that something good could turn up. It’s also possible that you could lose the lot. There are never any guarantees in life. But just because things seem dire now, doesn’t mean the obvious outcome (losing everything) is going to happen.

      It’s important to remember that these things aren’t happening to you because you’re a bad person. Although it feels like this at times, you’re not being punished. As terrible as this situation is, it’s offering you an opportunity to completely transform your life.

      I know this is hard, but try to imagine a positive future for yourself. Instead of focusing on all the things you’ve lost, try to be grateful for what you have and look for ways to turn your life around. You may have to dig deep inside yourself to find a long lost dream, something you’ve always wanted to do, something life affirming and positive – and go for that. Don’t let your grief and anger at your loss drag you under. Easy for me to say, I know…

      I wish you well, and hope you find a way through your troubles back to happiness.


      1. Thanks for your response Jessica

        I remember when i had good times ,i was the first person to put my hand in my pocket and help people out.i always believed good karma,will come back to help me in the future.

        I have always been a fighter,it just seems like everything i do there are obstacle after obstacle in front of me

        Its just like all my energy has been take away

        Onward and upwards

        What i keep saying to myself,Laws of Average,No pain no gain !!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve just found this site. I guess this is what is happening to me. My whole life fell apart. I’ve never been so scared in my entire time on Earth. It’s been a year and I I’m still in darkness and agony. But I’ve been put on mild anti depressants. Other wise the terror is to much. I have a lot of stuff to work out and I guess I need to know I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Steve. There is a way through the darkness so don’t give up, and you’re definitely not alone. It’s always scary when everything falls apart, but it does get better – eventually! Hang in there…

      I just popped across to your website and had a look at some of your videos! 🙂


      1. Hey, good to hear from you. So what part of the world are you in ? I hope you liked the videos. I never wanted my year to be like this. Ihad a massive burnout from exhaustion and it has turned my while world upside down. I still don’t know whether it’s anything spiritual or just medical but it’s changing my perspective none the less.


        1. Hi Steve. I’m in the UK. Obviously I don’t know what’s going on with you but it could be a mixture – medical, spiritual, psychological. It all gets mixed up and you get stuck in the middle of it wondering what the hell is going on. Sometimes the only way through is to follow your instincts and intuition where they lead, even if you end up down the rabbit hole.

          When I first started on this journey I wasn’t remotely spiritual and wasn’t interested, but then life has its own ideas…


        2. I’ve lived in the UK for the past 15 years and am hoping to come back sooner than later. Im in Australia at the moment but have been living in Manchester. Yes life has it’s own ideas indeed. Allthough I could have avoided a lot of this with healthy eating and better thinking. So it does has it’s advantages whenit comes to altering your perspective and knowledge on many different levels.


    1. Thanks John (and Doug!). It’s a very tough time and the way our culture works doesn’t help much. I hope you find your way through the darkness soon. I popped over to your blog and read your great post too. Hang in there…


      1. Hey Jessica- I believe you’re correct that our culture isn’t designed to support those who question “what else is there?”

        we’re supposed to fill the emptiness with unneeded stuff I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, and it even works for a bit – until you get bored of it… So easy to distract yourself rather than look at reality square in the eye, as it were.

          I love your blog, by the way. I’ve just followed you – should’ve done it long ago. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!


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